Local Groups in Newry, Mourne and Down celebrate 'Brighter Days Ahead'

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

LOCAL Groups in Newry, Mourne and Down will celebrate the peace building and cultural diversity efforts of young people and the challenges they face with a creative programme of cross-community and multicultural events as part of Good Relations Week 2021.

Good Relations Week 2021, co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, will run from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th September, with a mix of arts, history, music, sport and culture-based events from a diverse range of organisations across the region.

This year’s colourful programme will include the return of face-to-face events, alongside an expanded online offering of virtual events and digital content. This will include workshops, lectures, panel discussions, feature talks, podcasts, film, music and dance performances, storytelling and exhibitions.

The theme for Good Relations Week 2021 is ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ which celebrates the efforts of young people in their everyday lives to break down barriers, unite communities and act as a catalyst for peace building and cultural diversity in our society.

It will explore how society can better meet the needs of young people and explore the issues affecting their culturally diverse lives today, including sectarianism and racism, dealing with the continuing impact of the past, mental health, isolation, education, faith, the pandemic, and the environment.

Cllr Cathy Mason, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, says “Newry, Mourne and Down District would like to celebrate the culture of each of our residents. Good Relations Week is a reminder that to share this place we live in, we need to respect each other’s differences and increase understanding and engagement between and amongst all sections of the community.

“I hope that community relations week will highlight the exceptional ethos of partnership working and community integration which Newry, Mourne and Down District is proud to showcase. I would like to pay tribute to all community and voluntary groups who give so freely of their time throughout the year to help improve local community relations in the District.”

Martin McDonald MBE, Chair of the Community Relations Council, says: “Good Relations Week 2021 will showcase over 200 highly entertaining events that will shine a light on ground-breaking projects and initiatives that tackle sectarianism and racism and promote cultural diversity – all aimed at building brighter days ahead for everyone.

“We are delighted that over 100 different event and content organisers have embraced our ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ theme and helped to shape a truly remarkable Good Relations Week 2021 that demonstrates imagination, enthusiasm, and commitment to building a united community in our everyday lives.”

Jacqueline Irwin, Chief Executive of the Community Relations Council adds: Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this year’s dynamic programme of events, helping to make Good Relations Week a modern celebration of our diverse culture and heritage.

“We are once again thrilled to be able to deliver this showcase of cross community and multi-cultural arts, history, music and culture. We have a packed programme of face-to-face and virtual events, as well as online material. There is so much to attend, watch and experience, don’t miss it! I would encourage everyone to plan their week of events by checking out the programme at www.goodrelationsweek.com.”

Good Relations Week is co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council and supported by The Executive Office. It contributes to delivering the Together: Building a United Community Strategy. The Community Relations Council co-ordinates the week with the support of a Steering Committee comprising of The Executive Office, Department for Communities, Department of Justice, Education Authority, Libraries NI, Cathedral Quarter Trust and The Nerve Centre. 

For more information on the Good Relations Week 2021 programme of events visit www.goodrelationsweek.com or keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #GRW2021.

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